KATHMANDU, March 27, Reuter: Nearly 40 years after he went to jail for his part in his brother’s assassination of Mahatama Gandhi, Gopal Godse has no regrets.

“That was the right thing to do. It was the spirit of national integrity that forced us (to kill Gandhi),” he said on Sunday.

Godse was in Kathmandu representing a fundamentalist political party, Hindu Mahasabha, at the four day World Hindu Conference.

His brother Nathuram, who fired the fatal bullet on January 30, 1948, and co-conspirator Narayan Apte were hanged on November 11, 1949. Godse, jailed for his part in the plot, was released in 1986.

Every year on the anniversary of Nathuram’s execution, the Godse family renews a pledge.

“We read out Nathuram’s will on the occasion. It says his as she’s should be immersed in the Sindu (the idus river in Pakistan) when it becomes free and flows under our flag”, Godse said.

The family will hand down the will from generation to generation until the Sindu becomes free, he added.

Like many in India during the turmoil surrounding independence from Britain, the Godse brothers vehemently opposed the creation of Pakistan.

They decided to murder Gandhi, the father of Indian independence, after he began a hunger strike to force the Indian government to pay 550 million rupees (now 42 million dollars) owed to newly created Pakistan.

“It was not the act of an individual. Gandhi was a national figure and the killing was also connected with the nation,” Godse said.

He still bristles at the mention of Pakistan.

“Converts from Hinduism live in Pakistan. They have cut the throat of their mother religion and are sitting on Hindu land,” he said.

“Secularism is anti-Hindu and a great hindrance to the objective of achieving peace in India and therefore all over the world.” he said.

About 1,200 delegates from 40 countries are taking part in the conference, inaugurated on Thursday by Nepal’s King Birendra, the world’s only Hindu monarch.

Article extracted from this publication >> April 1, 1988